Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bicyclists as perceived by a bicyclist driving a car

Clutching that wheel in fear?
Does this ever happen to you?  Do you, as dedicated transportation cyclist, find yourself driving a car and feeling desperately frightened that you will kill or otherwise maim one of your own?  I do not ask this question in jest.  I really do worry about hitting a cyclist. I don't worry that much about getting hit by a car myself.  I'm a cautious kind of cyclist who tends to follow the rules of the road and assume that drivers simply do not see me.  And that last part is where I fall down as an anxious driver.  I fear that I'm not going to see a cyclist, and I'm really, really looking.  Hmmmm. . . . . I find this the most disconcerting when I'm behind the wheel and I have to cross the bike lane in order to enter the right turn lane.  Is it just me or does anyone else experience this concern?

9 comments:

Ted said...

Nope.

I find that I critique cyclists more when I'm driving, and I am more aware that they may be critiquing me.

Once or twice recently, I'm pretty sure a cyclist mistook me for one of those asshole drivers who gets a little too close out of stupidity or or hostility towards cyclists.

I apologize for that.

EcoCatLady said...

I drive so little these days that I'm pretty much afraid of EVERYTHING behind the wheel. Seriously, I think my car logged about 800 miles all last year... thanks for reminding me that I need to go charge the battery BTW.

You know, the only time I've ever been hit was by a driver who saw me, stopped, waved me on, then suddenly "forgot" I was there and hit me anyway! Of course, she had a screaming baby in the back seat and was busy talking on her cell phone. Grumble, grumble, grumble... CatMan says it's not enough to assume they don't see you, you have to assume they're all actively trying to kill you. I used to think that was silly...

SS:Mntbiker\Olskoolrodder said...

" Ted said...
Nope.

I find that I critique cyclists more when I'm driving, and I am more aware that they may be critiquing me. "

Yeah,LMBO!!! That's me too :)

Cynthia said...

Actually, yes, I do. Especially when I'm crossing the bike lane. (Did I look? Did I look again? Am I sure?)

Of course, I also critique. But I do that when I'm riding, too. What is it with people riding up the bike lane on the wrong side of the street?!

I don't worry so much about those people, though - or the ones without helmets. I'm really afraid I'll cream someone who was doing everything right, except for maybe installing an air horn to get the attention of absent-minded drivers. I've been thinking about getting one of those myself...

anniebikes said...

Hmm. I don't worry about harming a cyclist as I'm more cautious of them because I am one myself. I tend to double check all my sightings and allow them ample room on the road. I've had other motorist behind me honk at me because I will hang back until there is the other lane free to use. But motorcycles scare me. I would have hit one had not the driver performed a spectacular move to avoid me.

Erica S. said...

My greatest driving fear, even before I re-started cycling, is of hitting a cyclist or pedestrian. I'm cautious about this to the point that my over-caution makes me almost as bad a driver as a dude on a cell phone... many times I've come close to hitting another car because I felt the need to give ten feet of space to a cyclist or pedestrian, and for that reason I almost exclusively drive only on interstates and never drive in cities.

As a general note, I believe my driving skills (never that great to begin with) have degraded since I started cycling although I'm not sure if it's correlation or causation. :)

Melanie Suzanne said...

Aaaand, I answered your question in my response to your newest post. ;)

I find that as I've become a regular cyclist, I'm more observant and careful to look BOTH ways when making right turns so that I don't right hook a pedestrian or cyclist coming down the sidewalk.

Cervelo Girl said...

I am pretty acutely aware of cyclists on the road with me. I was hit 2 years ago... Ever since, I am dang careful on my bike, and dang careful in my car. Things can happen so fast...

Rachel said...

Not just you. I worry about it, too - especially in my area after dark, when there are cyclists out with no lights, riding against traffic.

Sure, it would be their fault, but I still don't want to hit a cyclist. Ever.